Susceptible Breeds
There is a broad range in the severity of symptoms shown by dogs that are infected with Parvovirus. Many adult dogs exposed to the virus show very few, if any, symptoms. The majority of cases of disease are seen in dogs less than 6 months of age with the most severe cases seen in puppies younger than 12 weeks of age. There are also significant differences in response to Parvovirus infections and vaccines among different breeds of dogs. More susceptible breeds include:
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Rottweilers
The most common form of the disease is the intestinal form known as Enteritis. Acute parvovirus enteritis can be seen in dogs of any breed, sex, or age. The disease will progress very rapidly and death can occur as early as 2 days after the onset of the disease. The presence of gram negative bacteria, parasites, or other viruses can worsen the severity of the disease and slow recovery. A less common form of the disease causes Myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart. Parvovirus Enteritis is characterized by:
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Dark or bloody feces
  • Fever and lowered white blood cell counts for severe cases